Thursday, June 30, 2011

Garden Gateway to God's Love

How pleasant it is to wake up to the sound of cheerful music. Thank you, Lord God, that every morning You sing to us through the birds. Your songs are always happy, uplifting and filled with joy.

When we take time to listen to the music in nature — whether it's a gentle breeze, a lullaby of night insects, or songbirds outside our window — a calmness descends upon us. And if we allow ourselves to take the time to enter into those subtle moments of tranquility, we can discover a gateway to God's love. At the entrance of the gate, Jesus Christ stands with open arms saying, "Come."

And if we accept His invitation, we sometimes find ourselves walking into an amazing garden of brilliant flowers, sweet fragrances, lush greenery, singing birds, and beautiful butterflies. Close by is a white gazebo. The Lord ushers us to one of its benches. As we sit down, next to Him, we can sense God smiling at us with a radiating love that lifts us far beyond our worldly woes. We feel cherished, accepted, welcomed and encouraged. And when we smile back, our soul feels satisfied.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Standing Ovation

Outside my window, there's a whole world that I do not understand. It's possible to study about the clouds and learn the names of the different formations. It's possible to study about the trees and learn how they grow and produce leaves. It's possible to study about the wind, too. But the power that creates these things — the force that pushes the clouds away, that sways the trees back and forth, that rustles the leaves and makes them dance — the power behind the invisible wind, this is what I do not understand. It's the power of God that is incomprehensible to me.

But as I stand in front of my window, the Lord God Almighty directs a magnificent sky show. He sends away the dark clouds and exposes a blue sky. He dots the blue sky with puffy, white clouds, and brings in the sun to cast its rays between the clouds so light glistens on the treetops. He narrates His show through a robin and sets the trees dancing to His tune. Then He quiets the stage with a soft hush. Quickly, He changes the scene. Dark clouds roll in. The sunshine disappears. The puffy, white clouds fade away. The focus turns from the clouds to the trees, as the wind whips the branches back and forth. The trees dance with glee and clap their leaves in exciting applause. The robin continues the narration, then ends with a song.

Thank you, Jesus Christ, for an awesome sky show. You masterfully directed the elements to include brightness and darkness, sight and sound, narration and movement. You captured the audience with an awareness of your excellence and power. How splendid are your ways. How majestic are your days. Please direct my day to include all the parts You want to be there. For in the drama of your direction, life becomes full of excitement and anticipation. Direct my day, and give me eyes to what You do, so by the time the curtain of night time falls, I am giving You a standing ovation.

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Monday, June 27, 2011


Sometimes, we need to take time to stop and just breathe.
We need to breathe in the life that Jesus Christ has secured for us.
So let us breath deeply.
Breathe in Jesus.
Breathe in His love...His holiness...His goodness.
Breathe in His kindness...His mercy...His grace.
Breathe in God's peace, and His gentle ways.

Breath in the things of God. Breathe deeply.
Let the breath of God filter into every part of your body.
Let the breath of God renew you, restore you, and strengthen you.

Breathe in the life Jesus Christ has for you.
God is life. Breathe in God's life, and be refreshed.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

New Growth

New life springs forth at the end of the pine tree branches. Its growing and green — a beautiful shade of light, baby green. This new growth is expanding the tree, causing it to reach out farther, to reach up higher, and to praise God more.

Life expands and produces more life. Evil destroys and produces death. Speak life. Think life. Take actions that produce life. Live your life! Enjoy life! Celebrate life! Celebrate the Giver of Life!

Celebrate Jesus Christ! For He is the Creator of Life. He respects life. He grows life. He speaks life to us. He offers us life in abundance. He replaces lies with truth, so we can live in the fullness of His glory.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bending Wood

It's amazing how wood bends with unimaginable flexibility when the wild wind twists and turns the tree branches in all directions. I need to be like that tree. On my own, I am stiff and rigid. I only know one way of doing things -- my way. And when the winds of life shift my ability to be in control, or the unexpected storms blur my vision, or the blistering heat burns holes in my finances, I get upset, angry and frustrated. I instinctively resist the problems and challenges that block my path. I fight against change, and life becomes hard.

But it doesn't need to be that way. I need to become flexible, like the joyful tree branches swaying in the wind. They don't wine or complain. So what if they loose a few leaves or extra branches. They didn't need that extra weight anyway. And I don't need extra weight either. I need to drop whatever is weighing me down and stay attached to the living tree of Jesus Christ. Only in the Lord can I gain the strength, wisdom, knowledge, and love to become bendable.

When I'm attached to Christ, He teaches me how to ride the turbulent winds of life. When the rain comes pouring down, I need to shout for joy. When the wind blows fiercely, I need to stand on God's promises. When the sun refuses to shine, I need to bask in the light of God's love. These are the things I need to practice with the help of the Holy Spirit. These things are attainable when I fix my eyes on Jesus and yield to Him.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Dispersing Clouds

Fragments of dark clouds race across the early morning sky. It's rare to see them move this rapidly, especially when the cloud cover over and behind them is cotton ball white. I wonder where the small dark clouds are going. Is it God pushing the darkness out of our lives, so more of His light can shine through? Is it the wind of His Holy Spirit saying, "No more!" and kicking out the darkness? Are the dark clouds being pushed away or are they running away?

Two more dispersing dark clouds dash by my window. The larger one stretches out its ugly neck and hunches over the smaller one beneath it. Within seconds, it devours the smaller cloud and races onward.

It happened so quickly, I had to gasp. What a demonstration of evil devouring evil to fatten itself! What a reminder of the importance of staying in God's light. And what an illustration of the vastness of God's love, portrayed by the white cloud covering high in the sky, compared to the fleeting wisps of evil, that damage and destroy, portrayed by the small, dark clouds. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your lessons with the clouds.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Yellow Sky

The yellow sky never sleeps. It moves around the world, greeting early morning risers with the brightness of a new day. Those who look for it, see it — especially those who have been through a long, dark night.

The brightness of the yellow sky is always followed by the appearance of a huge, round, orb. Before this yellow orb appears, it's penetrating light goes out before it, like trumpeters announcing the coming of the king. What a grand procession! What a splendid way to herald that which brings light into our dark world.

Just as the physical sun rises upon the earth, so does the spiritual Son of God rise upon us. It's the brightness of Jesus' love that enables us to see beyond our circumstances and beyond our limitations. It's the light of the Lord that enables us to see a greater power at work — God's power that brings light into the dark areas of our heart that He wants to heal.

Each day, we need to see with both our physical eyes and our spiritual eyes. We need to see not only what is happening around us, but also what is happening within us and beyond us. We need to see the higher perspective of God's Hand at work.

So thank you, Heavenly Father for showing how the sun reflects your Son. Thank you, for giving us light to see in both the physical and spiritual realms. Please show me today, what my eyes and heart need to see.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Light at the Tunnel's End

It's on those cloudy days when we cannot see the sun, and have trouble leaning on the Son of God, that the Lord works behind the scenes. He sets everything in place so when the time is right, we can feel Him lift us up.

That happened to me. After two months of continuous discouragement, I grew weary and frustrated. The same old burdens and circumstances that had plagued me for years, still stood in the way. And when I finally saw light at the end of the tunnel, and rejoiced for a brief moment, the heavy weight of all I've been through came crashing down upon me. I couldn't go any further. I saw daylight where the long, dark tunnel ended, but could not reach it. My strength was gone. I melted down and cried.

Out of desperation, I allowed my church group to comfort me. My Christian friends surrounded me with prayer, compassion, words of encouragement, and prophetic words. I no longer felt alone. I felt weak, and discovered that it was OK to feel that way. It was OK for others to lift me up before the Lord. It was OK to let others guide me into God's love and into His understanding. It was OK to bask in the truth of scriptures that others were washing over me. It was OK to NOT have the strength to continue on my own.

The next day, a new hope rose in my heart. The challenges in my life still remain, but so does the light at the end of the tunnel. I know that walking out of the dark tunnel will become a reality, but it will not happen on my own strength. It will happen by the strength and power of the Lord God Almighty. Through Him, I will be able to step forward. Through Jesus Christ, I will be able walk into the light of His glorious love and into the plans He has laid out before me. I now sing and rejoice, for the Lord has set my heart free! I celebrate because Christ has won the victory for me. Alleluia!

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Monday, June 13, 2011

A Glimpse of Hope

A gentle fog rests over the sleepy footpath, blocking out the early morning sun. The tree standing in front of me is visible, but everything behind it is covered in a gray mist. I look into the clouds above my head. One, tiny opening reveals a glimpse of blue sky. As the opening widens, two small, puffy white clouds appear. Hope! My spirit rises in the hopes of a sunny day. But as I search my purse for paper and pen to put these words down, the opening closes up.

Is hope lost when I cannot see it? No. My hope in Christ is what I trust in. Even though I cannot physically see Him, I know He's there, just as I know there is blue sky behind those gray clouds.

I look up from my paper. The gray covering thins out in several places. A few, tiny openings appear. As I watch, they increase in size, and so does the blue sky. More puffy, white clouds come into view. I rejoice! How glorious! How exciting! The more I look, the more I see. It's just like faith. The more I look towards Jesus, the move I begin to see.

This morning's walk reassures me that when the dark clouds creep into my life and threaten me with gloom and doom, I know without a doubt, there is a blue sky behind them — a blue sky of hope in Jesus Christ, who is always with me.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Flourishing Tree

The flickering light on my writing tablet caused me to turn around and look outside. Rough wind jostled the tree branches close to the house. Joyfully, the sun's rays danced across the room. What glorious freedom the leaves have to swing and sway high above the ground. They dance with delight to the melodies of the whistling wind.

Only a month ago, the tree was barren and leafless. But the spring rains came, the temperature increased, and a glorious crown of rich green covered the enormous tree. The foliage produced an abundance of shade with its thousands of leaves. It became a shelter for birds, a home for squirrels, and a resting place for those looking for a refuge from the hot sun.

Be like a tree flourishing in the Lord. Display the foliage of truth — the abundance of God's promises that offer shade and shelter from the hot sun of blinding temptations and false promises that burn and destroy. Let the beauty within you emerge as you burst forth in the joy of Jesus and dance to the tune of God's love.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Turtle and the Quiet Stream

Yesterday, a sweet blessing rested on the path in front of me. I was looking for a quiet stream to videotape, and found a turtle. A big one, too. I don't know what kind of turtle it was, but it was kind enough to allow me to take its picture. And that's how this turtle became part of the "Quiet Stream" video.

Below is the "Quiet Stream" video.

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Monday, June 6, 2011


A huge evergreen stands before me with its long branches extended halfway across the path. The branches appear strong and robust. The tree is a healthy shade of green. Even its pine needles look sturdy and radiant, as they sparkle in the morning dew.

This tree remains green all year long. It never changes color in the spring rain, the summer heat, or the winter snow. Jesus Christ is like the evergreen tree — always fragrant, always strong, always standing with welcoming, out-stretched arms. Jesus calls us to also be like an evergreen
green, growing, healthy, vibrant, sweet-smelling, and hospitable.

Healthy evergreens do not grow tall and beautiful by themselves. They need good soil, plenty of sunshine, and the right amount of rain. We are planted in good soil when our roots grow deep into the mighty love of Christ. Not only does Jesus give us all the nourishment and nutrients we need for life, but He is also the solid Rock of our foundation, that holds us secure in the raging storms.

In Jesus Christ, we have all the sunshine we need. We have the radiance of the Son rising up within us, the light of God the Father shining down upon us, and the brightness of the Holy Spirit guiding and directing us. As we seek the Lord and grow closer to Him, His light increases dramatically, and we shine brighter, too.

And we have all the water we need. God's Holy Spirit rains down upon us to help us soak up the nourishment that we need to prosper in Jesus. God's Living Water flows continually from the throne of Heaven to quench our thirst. And as we partake more of more of Christ, streams of Living Water begin to flow out of us, too.

We have all the elements we need to become mighty evergreen trees. We have the God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God calls us to prosper in Him, and as we yield to Him, He enables us to grow strong and tall.

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encouragement by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Peace is what the Lord God calls us to walk in. Peace is what we are to give away. Peace is the state of mind we need to be in — like a flourishing shade tree with its branches stretched out wide. The tree dances in the gentle breeze, undisturbed by the busy world around it. It holds its branches up high, always giving reverence to the Lord. It welcomes those who pass by, with an invitation to rest under its shade. It does not complain when its branches break, nor does it resist change when the turbulent wind bends it towards the ground. It remains confident and secure in Jesus Christ, standing tall, contented to be where its planted, displaying massive foliage that is rich in color from plentiful rain. The tree is a symbol of the way we can be — steadfast, peaceful, and secure in God's love. For more encouragement by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to